Local authorities as trustees under scrutiny

Charity Commission to make councils more aware of pitfalls

The Charity Commission and the Local Government Association will meet next week to discuss how local authorities can act as better trustees for charities.

Sally Cooke, third sector policy consultant at the LGA, said it was looking at ways to make councils more aware of their responsibilities.

"We know there are a number of pitfalls with local authorities becoming sole trustees and we're keen to help them do this job as well as they can," she said.

Birmingham City Council has recently been criticised for the way it managed the assets of organisations it governs as sole trustee. It has been using a building left to the people of the city by 19th century politician Joseph Chamberlain to house social services staff.

Last year, the commission produced a local government toolkit warning councils that they must not deal with charitable property in the same way as publicly owned property.

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